Milk: Northern Ireland

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th January 2019.

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Photo of David Simpson David Simpson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with dairy farmers in Northern Ireland on the (a) cost of production and (b) the sale price of milk.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Secretary of State and I have frequent discussions with representatives of the UK farming sector on a wide range of matters which have included recent discussions involving the Ulster Farmers Union on agricultural policy.

Defra actively monitors the UK farm-gate price of milk, and information collected in our Farm Business Survey for England allows an assessment of the cost of milk production. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs collects similar data on farm incomes in Northern Ireland. This information is available at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-milk-prices-and-composition-of-milk

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/farm-business-survey

https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/farm-incomes-northern-ireland-2004-2014

We want to support farmers to get a fair price for their products. Our Agriculture Bill will provide ministers, and the devolved administrations where appropriate, with a suite of powers to improve supply chain fairness supporting farmers to get a fair price for their produce.

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